Studies have demonstrated that emotion is more effective than logic when it comes to advertising and marketing (Source: Neil Patel).
In fact, 95% of our purchase decision making takes place in the subconscious mind. (Source: Harvard)
The theory behind this is that as humans, we process thoughts and decisions in two different ways: consciously and unconsciously. The conscious reaction is based on logic and is the slower of the two responses. The unconscious part of the decision is emotion-based – and it’s also the immediate first response.
Decisions Are Emotion-Based
Because 95% of the purchase decision is emotion-based, it makes sense that we’ll see better marketing ROI if, as B2B marketers, we leverage emotion in ads and content marketing. It’s important, however, to draw a distinction between the “influence of emotion” vs. “feeling emotional.”
According to Sophisticated Marketer Quarterly, marketers shouldn’t be striving to create an overt emotional reaction (like laughter or sadness), but should focus on other emotional influences like building trust or gaining confidence. These types of emotions are more likely to be influential during the B2B marketing process.
Read more: The 9 deadly sins of B2B marketing you should avoid.
Know Your Audience & Understand Their Emotions
The first step in embracing emotion in B2B marketing is to truly understand your target market. The best way to do this is to build out buyer personas so the marketing team can visualize the individuals as if they are sitting across the table from them. By identifying your audience, their needs, their hopes, and their fears, you’ll get a better understanding of how your products or services resonate with them. Creating buyer personas enables you to “walk in their shoes” and understand their emotional perspective.
If you are having trouble understanding your audience, there is always the option of enlisting the help of a market research firm.
Read more: 4 ways to provide value with B2B content.
Appeal to Their Emotions
Simply listing your products or services will never create a meaningful connection or elicit an emotional response from your audience (unless boredom is your intended response). The messaging, imagery, and copy of your marketing and ads should focus on how they impact them.
Are you looking to build trust in the efficacy of your products or services? If so, examine your website and marketing materials and ask, does your messaging, imagery, and copy engender trust? Or are they saying something else?
Don’t just list facts or rely on the end-user to logically work out the benefits they’ll receive. For example, if you want B2B marketers to sign up for your conference, which copy is more impactful?
- Sign up for B2B marketing conference to access up to 50 training sessions.
- Elevate your career and impress your boss with insights from industry icons.
The first is a factual statement. The second is not untrue but relies on emotion rather than facts. The second statement leverages the emotions of pride and validation to connect with the end-user.
Read more: Top tools for B2B marketers.
Not Just a Tactic
Emotion in marketing is not merely a “tactic” for increasing ROI. It’s an approach to creating a community of passionate customers and prospects who believe in your company and the impact you have on their lives. If you are still skeptical or having trouble getting internal buy-in, A/B test landing page copy, images, ad creative, email messaging, etc. Pit a purely factual piece against a piece that either gently or forcefully pushes those emotional buttons.